Political History of New Zealand/Early European Government

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Early European Government in New Zealand


After New Zealand was annexed by Britain, it was initially set up as a dependency of New South Wales. However, by 1841, New Zealand was made a colony in its own right. As a colony, it inherited political practices and institutions of government from the United Kingdom.

The United Kingdom Government started the first New Zealand Government by appointing governers, being advised by appointed executive and legislative councils.

In 1852, the British Parliament passed the New Zealand Constitution Act, which provided for the elected house of representitives and legislative council. The General Assembly (the House and Council combined) first met in 1854.

New Zealand was effectively self-governing in all domestic matters except 'native policy' by 1856. Control over native policy was passed to the Colonial Government in the mid-1860s.

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